Learning from the European Experience of Using Targets to Improve Population Health

Health targets have become a widely used instrument to promote population health. The authors of this study describe the experience in England, where the use of targets has reached the most advanced stage of development, and other European countries.

The experience demonstrates that targets may change the behavior of a health system, probably to a larger extent than many other policy instruments, if incentives are aligned correctly and if measures to deal with unintended effects are put in place.